Monday, December 25, 2006

... bah, humbug

i'm not feeling terribly jolly tonight. after coming to the end of my career at my most recent old job (where i've been selling office supplies these last six years) i have been confronted with the vast amount of packing i actually have to do before i move to melbourne. on the plus side i think i have only about 6, maybe 7 cubic mettres of stuff to move. hopefully it's not too late to get that on the truck.

i'm wrapping some presents tonight. maybe write some more Christmas cards in the morning. finish watching a movie, funny ha ha, which i picked up on recommendation from a friend and which, despite being slower than a wet week, is pretty good and totally captures the indecision and false-starting that can so often dog people in (or not quite in) relationships.

i'm off to my old church tomorrow for the Christmas day service, then off on a train to meet my mum and sister for lunch. then back here again for another late night's attempt at going to sleep. then off to camp. and back here new year's day, then down to a mate's place for a trivia night and last catchup before i move to melbourne.

and in amongst that, more packing. to tell you the truth, i can't wait until it's all over and i've moved.

so merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

(i know i sound pretty humbug about all this, and in a lot of ways i am, but in a lot more ways i'm not. Christmas is great. if you want to know why, go to church this morning and find out. if nothing else, it'll put some space between all that chocolate you eat while you're opening your presents and all the food you'll be eating at lunch.)


Sunday, December 10, 2006

... some cool sites i found

i'm not generally one for posting lists of links, but for an entertaining ten minutes i just connected to some random blog sites and links from those sites... i've found a few i like or am interested in finding out what other people think of them... feel free to comment:

... joke?

i found this on another blog and though it was funny... a good joke in that you can tailor it to your audience - much like the aristocrats...

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then -- to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone, to relax. That's what I told myself though I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?" One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss.
"Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."
"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"
"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."
"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as university professors, and university professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money."
"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some John Raulston Saul. I roared into the parking lot with ABC on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors...

They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Categorical Imperative was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for some rational empiricism, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I took out a subscription to the Telegraph, started to watch the news on Ten.

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I joined the Liberal Party...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

... for whom the bell tolls

one of my favourite metallica songs is for whom the bell tolls - i think it's from ride the lightning - says "time marches on", set in the context of men fighting a war they don't necessarily know the reasons for, and don't even know the reasons for the tasks they are given ("for a hill men, men would kill. why? they do not know...") within the war itself. the men in the song are pushed into a situation they have no control over, they blindly move forward without knowing what they're doing or why. they're a lot like the people i see around me every day.

i'm moving house, moving interstate, moving from sunny sydney to marvellous melbourne. sydneysiders and melbournites alike express amazement and surprise at my decision, both commenting that the usual mode of flight is melbourne to sydney, not the reverse, and certainly not for my chief stated reason: i hate sydney's climate.

the lease has been signed, we have a phone number, i have three train stations, a tram line and a few bus routes all passing within a twenty-five-minutes'-walk radius of the house. i have a very cool housemate, good prospects for work, good friends helping me to move down there.

it's been a plan of mine for some time, around eighteen months to a couple of years, to pull up stumps from sydney and move south to cooler climes. i don't like the humidity in sydney but sometimes i feel like i'm the... focus of circumstances outside of my control.

i know that that is the cosmic truth. the nature of life in a fallen world, properly considered through the lens of the Bible, is that the control we think we have in our lives is at best temporary and at worst utterly illusory. to a certain extent, i'm a victim of my own flesh; to a certain extent, a victim of sydney's (australia's) obsession with "financial security"; definitely contemptuous of the ways such "security" ties people down... something of a golden cage.

who wants to be told they're a prisoner? we fly from one place to another, one experience to another, one opportunity to another... education, business, relationships, experiences... philosophies, religions... all to distract ourselves from the truth that we have no control - we are slaves. "you are a slave, neo."

so i'm flying south...

... for the winter ;)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

... miracle

5 "Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
6 For behold, I am raising up Dr Maya Vale,
that strange and lackadaisical fellow,
to march over the breadth of New South Wales,
to find a dwelling in Victoria to call his own.
7 He is dreadful and fearful;
his raucous laughter and twisted humour go forth from themselves.
8 He has no horse, is no swifter than sloths;
less fierce than the overfed koala;
he goes by train, when they actually go.
He travels by bus also;
for one, or two, will take him where he goes.
9 They come every fifteen minutes or so,
all their windshields forward.
No passenger will sit beside him; he rides alone.
10 At ticket inspectors he scoffs,
and at mortgages he laughs.
He laughs at every fortress,
for the repayments and interest rates pile up.
11 Then he moves onto a new lease,
a untrammelled man, whose comfort he carries with himself!"

i don't know. i'm feeling a bit silly tonight. the actual passage comes from habakkuk and is about how God is going to judge his wayward people. he is going to judge them by using the world superpower of the time to do his bidding, but they will take credit for it and he will see them fall for not giving the credit to him, God, who gave his own people into their hands.

i've been reading chronicles on the train on my way to work from the city. 1 chronicles is pretty tough reading and if you ever get picked for a genealogy reading at Christmas, don't complain. rejoice, with great gladness! why? because they're a picnic compared to the genealogies in chronicles. i'm praying hard that God will teach me something from this, but i'm confident that (if nothing else) i will have gained a greater familiarity with scriptures that old testament prophecies tie in with - a good thing, given i'll be helping lead study groups over the summer doing surveys of the old testament. i'd like to read esther, ezra, nehemiah again as well, and maybe daniel, ezekiel, isaiah, jeremiah... (i've studied the last two before, a while ago now, and ezra and nehemiah more recently in church.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

... tired

i've been asked a few times when i'm going to post next, and now i'm posting. i'm tired. it's been a really long few weeks - work's really busy with all the stuff that's going on there, getting ready to move to melbourne is taking a surprising psychological toll, and heading into Christmas means getting ready for summer camp which brings with it its own pressures and deadlines.

one of the things i did was go to see a movie the other week. the movie was called trust the man, starring julianne moore, david duchovny, billy crudup, and maggie gyllenhaal. i quite enjoyed it, even though it was rather more of a chick-flick than i was allowed to expect. in the words of a good friend, "it's about how men fail women and get away with it". i suppose that's one way of looking at it. i give it two and a half stars.

hmmm, yes well, that's about it from me for now. more later, maybe. i wan't to try to get into the one-post-a-day thing i did a little while ago. not sure when i'll do it though - evenings i'm barely compos mentis enough to do more than watch tv... which does little for the diagnosis of compos mentis!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

... books, film, and a disturbing thought

"as i was travelling to st ives..."

actually, i wasn't. i was travelling home, my seventy-odd minute commute from work suburb to home suburb. i changed trains more than i needed to, and one of my change point was at town hall. i was waiting for my connecting train (due in about ten minute) and i saw a woman reading mona lisa overdrive (by william gibson) in the exact same edition as i have. gibson's novels were one of the reasons i wanted to become a writer; they encouraged my experiments in role-playing games; they were a complete world of escape - they are a complete world of escape. a future (in the cyberspace novels and short stories, at least) extrapolated from a past that didn't quite happen, where the usa had kind of ceased to exist and the soviet bloc had managed to survive the cold war. (gibson ruminates on this in an introduction to an anniversary edition of neuromancer.) i love seeing people read gibson's work, and mona lisa overdrive was a great way to end the cyberspace trilogy. go check him out for yourself.

as i was nearing my destination, a woman sitting across the vestibule from me was reading a book by ann patchett called truth and beauty. it seemed an interesting enough title to me, although what actually caught my attention was a brief smile as our eyes met when i was looking around the train. in sydney, i've noticed, not many people are willing to lock eyes with strangers much less start conversations with them - melbourne's seeming friendliness from my point of view stems in large part from a very positive experience of this kind of thing during my stays in melbourne.

stopping off at a couple of friends' house on my way home, i borrowed one of the books on the bookshelf there: prozac nation. i finally finished dan brown's digital fortress today, and read deception point last week. neither of them filled me with much excitement and to be honest i found them to be a bit east to guess what was going to happen. matthew reilly without the excitement.

i watched a movie tonight called mozart and the whale. the characters are mostly people with a variety of mental illnesses and disorders, and the leads (played very well by radha mitchell and josh hartnett) both have asperger's syndrome. i found myself sympathising with the characters a little too much for comfort.

it made me revisit a recurring... nightmare (?daymare?) where i find that everything i think i know is true turns out to be a hallucination. the kind of solipsistic dystopia the philip k. dick wrote so compellingly, where i wake up on day and find out that all the people i know don't know me at all, have never met me, call and have me arrested. all the phone numbers i have in my phone are disconnected, all the addresses wrong, all the photographs someone else's. a more horrific version of this is that i don't know that i'm crazy; like someone with the kind of aphasia (a kind of brain trauma, i think) that sees them speak volubly, not realising that between their brain forming the words and their mouth speaking them a disconnect has occurred and they have become completely unintelligible to anyone listening to them, i don't know that i'm not intereacting correctly with the world - like the tarot deck's fool, walking along the cliff's edge, utterly insouciant or unknowing of the danger nearby...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

... inspired?

a list after a recent post by the always delightful prue...

1. favourite beatles song: when i'm sixty-four
2. favourite rolling stones song: paint it black
3. favourite doors song: love her madly
4. favourite bob dylan song: hurricane
5. favourite led zeppelin song: stairway to heaven
6. favourite tv theme song: coupling
7. favourite prince song: kiss
8. favourite madonna song: live to tell
9. favourite michael jackson song: billie jean
10. favourite queen song: who wants to live forever / i'm in love with my car
11. favourite motorhead song: ace of spades
12. favourite ozzy song: n/a
13. favourite public enemy song: n/a
14. favourite song from a cartoon: oh susanna (from any warner bros cartoon)
15. favourite bruce springsteen song: i’m on fire / born to run
16. favourite depeche mode song: n/a
17. favourite cure song: love cats
18. favourite song that most of your friends haven’t heard: 100 games of solitaire - concrete blonde
19. favourite rem song: everybody hurts
20. favourite beastie boys song: (you gotta) fight for your right to party
21. favourite clash song: n/a
22. favourite police song: every breath you take
23. favourite eurythmics song: who's that girl?
24. favourite beach boys song: god only knows
25. favourite cyndi lauper song: she-bop
26. favourite song from a movie: the time warp / sweet transvestite (the rocky horror picture show)
27. favourite duran duran song: view to a kill
28. favourite peter tosh song: n/a - who????
29. favourite johnny cash song: i walk the line / don't take your guns to town
30. favourite song from an 80’s one hit wonder: video killed the radio star - the buggles / mickey - tony basil
31. favourite song from a video game: theme music for galaga
32. favourite kinks song: lola
33. favourite genesis song: i can’t dance
34. favourite thin lizzy song: boys are back in town
35. favourite inxs song: just keep walking / falling down the mountain / anything from "kick"
36. favourite weird al song: smells like nirvana / pretty fly for a rabbi
37. favourite peter gabriel song: sledgehammer
38. favourite john lennon song: ewwww... n/a
39. favourite pink floyd song: brick in the wall
40. favourite cover song: stairway to heaven, covered by the doug anthony all-stars and barry crocker
41. favourite white stripes song: n/a
42. favourite dance song: re-jigged 80s stuff usually does it for me... not that i actually dance :)
43. favourite u2 song: all i want is you
44. favourite song from an actor turned musician: confide in me - kylie minogue
45. favourite disco song: ymca - the village people
46. favourite power ballad: love bites - def leppard
47. favourite guns n’ roses song: welcome to the jungle
48. favourite the who song: pinball wizard
49. favourite elton john song: crocodile rock
50. favourite song, period: probably a love song or something sappy... we learned to sing "touch the wind" in 3rd grade and the few lines i remember still make my eyes tear up
51. favourite ryan adams song: n/a
52. favourite green day song: good riddance (time of your life)
53. favourite alanis morrissette song: your house
54. favourite jamiroquai song: virtual insanity (is that the track name?)
55. favourite foo fighters song: monkey wrench
56. favourite david bowie song: ground control to major tom
57. favourite metallica song: nothing else matters, and anything on "rise the lightning" and "master of puppets"
58. favourite jeff buckley song: lilac wine
59. favourite pearl jam song: n/a
60. favourite grateful dead song: n/a
61. favourite def leppard song: let's get rocked
62. favourite dixie chicks song: changes
63: favourite cowboy junkies song: n/a
64. favourite james brown song: i got you (i feel good)
65. favourite barenaked ladies song: one week
66. favourite creedence clearwater revival song: down on the corner
67. favourite garth brooks song: n/a
68: favourite chuck berry song: you never can tell
69: favourite willie nelson song: on the road again
70. favourite tom petty: n/a
71. favourite van halen song: jump
72. favourite old school soul song: i gotcha
73. favourite song that totally kicks righteous ass: love shack - the b-52s
74: favourite song of yours that everyone else hates: sweet transvestite - the rocky horror picture show
75: favourite zz top song: legs
76: favourite ac/dc song: thunderstruck
77. favourite blondie song: heart of glass
78. favourite bob marley song: buffalo soldier
79. favourite violent femmes song: the country death song
80. favourite alice in chains song: n/a
81. favourite wallflowers song: n/a
82. favourite james taylor song: n/a
83. favourite counting crows song: n/a
84. favourite blues traveler song: n/a
85. favourite drinking song: anything you can karaoke to
86. favourite hendrix song: all along the watchtower
87. favourite break-up song: simple twist of fate - concrete blonde
88. favourite allman brothers song: n/a
89. favourite rusted root song: n/a
90. favourite dave matthews band song:n/a
91. favourite elvis costello song: she
92. favourite beck song: n/a
93. favourite muse song: n/a
94. favourite radiohead song: creep
95. favourite stone temple pilots song: the big empty
96. favourite the eagles song: new kid in town
97. favourite janis joplin song: mercedes benz
98. favourite coldplay song: n/a
98. favourite soundgarden song: black hole sun
99. favourite 70s song: dancing queen - abba / bohemian rhapsody - queen / heaps of karaoke tunes!
100. favourite joan osborne song: dracula moon

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

... my ticket has been maxed

yes, today i went beyond the bounds of my 1+2+3 weekly metcard ticket - i had to pay an extra $8.40 for a return connection from werribee to geelong. pretty bloody inexpensive, i reckon, and i was very impressed with how cushy the v-line trains are. or at least the ones i caught.

attached to this is a tale of two eateries. the first eatery was a hotel bistro at apollo bay. the second was the wharf shed cafe at geelong. one impressed me greatly. one did not.

i had what i felt to be a delicious porterhouse steak with even more delicious mashed potatoes (and i love good mashed potatoes... just ask, i don't know, anyone who's seen me eat at sizzler (although that might descend into a comment like, "doesn't he take a dinner plate to the chocolate mousse section of the dessert bar?") or perhaps at my mum's place when she's cooking rissoles - and hers are par excellence), along with some stir-fried vegetables and a delightful peppercorn sauce. all-in-all, scrumdiddlyumptious. the table-clearing was pretty damn efficient too, i might add. the meat was cooked so well that i thought i may well have to explore the other meat-cooking categories one or two south of my usual "well-done". not blue, or bloody... but maybe medium-well-done, or medium.

i also shared a pizza with cheese, pineapple, and chunks of virginia ham. it wasn't very big, and while it tasted delicious i didn't think the size or quality warranted the rather inflated price-tag attached. what put me off more than the price (and i paid almost twice as much for my steak meal, so please don't think i'm being a cheapskate... in this particular instance!) was the service. i really felt like i shouldn't have been there, and i felt like i didn't earn enough to be there. given the prices they were charging for the drinks on the menu, and given a reasonable guess as to the cost prices of those drinks, i think they could have spent more money on water jugs so that any table that wanted to keep one on their table would be able to. i was singularly unimpressed by eatery #2 and will not be returning.

i'll leave you to mix and match which goes with which.

p.s. i also got to see the remains of the twelve apostles. (part of the reason for the road trip from geelong.) very cool. the long and winding road that is the great ocean road, however, needs regular stops for replacing of... ummm... convenience bags. excuse me...

Monday, October 23, 2006

... swm seeks impetus

i'm a little bit tired. haven't been sleeping fantastically, but that's hardly surprising given where i'm staying. i think the reason i feel so blurgh today is that i have to do (finally) my washing. oh the trials of life!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

... slow news day

well, it's a slow news day today. it's about 8am and i'm getting ready to go down to elizabeth st to pick up my morning coffee at hudsons before i wind my way out to surrey hills. i was recommended to go to surrey hills presbyterian by a friend in sydney, so i figured what they hey. who knows who i might meet? (after my brush with fame last sunday!)

i started to do a small 'zine last night that i'm hoping to photocopy before i go and leave at sticky on or before friday. if nothing else it gives me something to do in my downtime besides watch tv here at the yha. the people running the place here are very nice.

there is a small child... if you know my definition of a small child you know this could be anyone between the ages of 12 months and 12 years - this small child is toddling around and definitely bends more towards the 12 months limit.

there is a small child wandering around behind me in the internet cafe here at the yha. she's as cute as a button, with funky grandparents who are looking out for her while her parents enjoy a holiday here also. the grandparents are doing a great job, and it strikes me as a pretty cool way to holiday. you can have a family holiday with the kid(s) and your folks, or a second honeymoon with your spouse and leave the kids with the doting babysitters. everybody wins!

sigh... i probably need more sleep. toodles!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

... late night in

well, tonight (wednesday the 18th) i decided to have an early night in. i ate some things that are bad for me for dinner, and i don't think i'll be feeling the ill effects of them until about 8am or i have a myocardial infarc, whichever comes first.

i'm up late because the yha had channel ten showing in the lounge and i was hoping (foolishly) that i'd get to enjoy my wednesday night viewing. ncis was ruined by noisy people playing pool and battlestar galactica was ruined by noisy asian poker players about six feet away in the dining area. i'm glad i called mum anyway, not least because (hopefully) she taped both shows for me tonight.

today i visted pakenham. it was pretty much what i expected, reminds me a lot of dapto when i was growing up, but with more shops (rather like warrawong or cronulla now). the area itself (surrounding pakenham) is very dry and kind of country. mum says someone told my sister it's a bit like campbelltown; i don't know if that's socioeconomically true, but it feels like it might be. i grabbed a bunch of flyers from the library along with a copy of the local rag and posted them home - i hope my sister can make some use of them.

i also got to visit one of my favourite shops in melbourne: sticky, a community resource for people involved in small press stuff, 'zines and what have you. every time i go there i spend at least twenty bucks and today was no exception. i must have spent about $38.80, give or take. one collection of books, from the states, is called caboose and if you want to find out more about it you can email the writer, liz saidel. (i don't know if that link is going to work, but try it and see!) very cool stuff. i hope that once i move to melbourne i'll be able to somehow be involved with what sticky are trying to do. city library here in melbourne is also trying to help out zinesters and small press peeps by getting a 'zine library up and running: good on them, i say, and i hope to get involved with that too.

hmm, what else? i may have to move rooms tomorrow. apparently there have been a lot of school groups through here recently; this is the reason that the wine and cheese night last night never eventuated. alas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

... surprisingly tired

funny, you know. i was pretty tired before i left for my holidays and guess what? i'm still tired! add to this that this morning i rolled over (my patented roll-over-and-get-another-thirty-minutes-of-sleep rollover) a good three or four times and i was up at 7:30!!! what the...?

so the last couple of days have been cool, very relaxed. i feel unhurried, which is nice, although the side tasks i allotted myself for while i'm here (find a job, place to live, for january) are starting to weigh in on me a touch. that being said, i feel that i'm likely worrying over nothing.

yesterday i did a lot of wandering around. visited two or three cafes here in the cbd, including my little alley-oop, which is still there, even though i have a sneaking suspicion that susan isn't running it anymore. i'll have to check again. found a great cafe that was almost literally a hole in the wall - i though alley-oop would have been the smallest eat-in cafe i'd been in, but this little one (whose name escapes me, something starting with a "p"? tiled steps leading up from an alley near some fashion shops, like bathroom floor tiles?) definitely gave it a run for its money.

i also stopped in at word bookshop in the port phillip arcade. that was pretty cool, and i always enjoy the very brief wander around that it is. i have a sneaking suspicion that they have more music than koorong. maybe it just feels that way. i don't know. i may go back and pick up one or two bargains, but until my last friday i'm trying to hoard my money a bit.

that being said, i did lash out tonight on the best pumpkin risotto i've ever had. the pumpkin soup which precursored it still wasn't a patch on mrs thoms' pumpkin soup (the quality of which, i think, may never be matched), but the risotto tonight was amazing and i got the biggest glass of lemon, lime and bitters i've ever drunk. (ironically, a british girl who's here for a year on a working visa was working at the same shop earlier today!)

i will be buying up some 'zines once i get to sticky when it's open (they trade wednesday to friday from 10 until 6) and if i'm really lucky i'll be able to get "a is for..." which is a 'zine i spotted last time i was there but which i wasn't able to get that time. it's a rather subversive little text which uses crimes and other... distasteful thing to illustrate letters of the alphabet.

i'll be dropping into sticky on the way back here, however, after my day to the end of the zones: my 1+2+3 weekly ticket allows me to travel right to the very edges of civilised melbourne society (i don't think it takes me all the way to geelong) and tomorrow that edge will be pakenham. my sister has got a job there (cue irrepressible cries of "huzzah!" and thunderous applause, thank you very much) and i thought i'd check out where exactly it is that she's going to be working. i'm told that it's a growing place, no longer a sleepy little hamlet at the end of a train line but rather the thriving hub of a vibrantly growing collection of housing estates. i can't say i'm expecting to see many trees.

lots of people have been asking me if i'm liking melbourne. i am. that being said, i have noticed one or two little quirks about melbournites; in particular, melbourne drivers.

i know i don't drive; i feel that i've been passenger in cars often enough to have some measure of skill spotting good drivers from bad ones, and at least being a passenger means i'm not necessarily supposed to be looking where i'm going while i observe said drivers in their automalconduct.

melbourne drivers don't seem to spend much time shouting at each other. they do seem to be quite willing to curse pedestrians. this interests me, i suppose because trams (and, by default, pedestrians) figure so heavily here in melbourne. there are generally more people in the roadways sharing space with cars that maybe drivers feel they have no choice. i remarked that in sydney drivers shout at other drivers and simply run over pedestrians. that is a slander and a slur on the inimitable and unparallelled skills of sydney drivers.

trains run more on time down here than in sydney. more explanations are offered than in sydney. far fewer people use them here than in sydney. i heard that some had to stand in the train for three whole stations before they could find a seat. oh my.

more later, i guess. the road goes ever on and on, the road goes ever on...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

... touch of fame

i had a pretty great day today.

i rounded it out with my friend barb at koko black on lygon street, where i enjoyed a pretty amazing hot chocolate (frothier and lighter, not as heavy as a hot chocolate from max brenner's - not better, just different) and used their toilet (adequate to requirements). while i was there i took a picture of my hot chocolate with my mobile phone and tried to send it to my friend dave. i don't know if he got it because i've had no reply and i've only just this last week has mms messaging activated on my phone, but i thought with all the photos of coffees he takes perhaps he'd like one of a hot chocolate.

in the evening (before koko black) i went to a... retelling of the book of esther by a group called backyard bard (there's a website, i think it's backyard bard dot com but i can't quite recall right now and i have three minutes left to write this entry). it was fantastic. if you get the chance, go see 'em.

visited my friend sue ellen's church, which was ok and reminded me a lot of my old church in dapto.

and the touch of fame?

lunch at the chiswells'. you know? the chiswells'? graham and nicky? well, i know a lot of you who read this (i.e. the maybe dozen or so friends who read this) probably have already met them, i know dave knows them quite well, erika too, i think. but it was big for me.

and now? on to sunny melbourne!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

... fifteen degrees cooler

i'm now in melbourne, enjoying temperatures fifteen degrees cooler than in sydney! yahoo!!!

the plane left sydney at 13h15 and when i was crossing the bridge earlier on the bus i checked the temperature and time on the kyocera building in north sydney - 36 degrees. so glad to be enjoying cooler weather here.

enjoyed a hudson's coffee as soon as i could arrange it and getting from the airport to the yha couldn't have been easier. checking in was also a breeze. i'm going to pick up some shopping at coles, brekkie cereal and milk, maybe some bread and cheese for lunch.

i have my weekly travelpass thingie, and i'm going to spend my holidays wandering around melbourne, getting a feel for it...

i feel relaxed already!

Friday, October 06, 2006

... friends

hey, i don't know what kind of friends you have. i'm sure they're great and all, but i am fairly certain i have the best friends in the world. God has blessed me with awesome friends and while i don't show them the appreciation i should always show, or pray for them as often and as earnestly as i should, or keep in touch with them as closely as i should, i don't think i've ever felt like i'd be better off without them.

and heaven will be better than my friends! wow...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

... the (not) ugly (at all really)

to the woman who was sitting in the second car of the hornsby train that left central at 6:29; on the vestibule seat on the left side of the train, nearest the connecting door to the next (my) car; with amazing fair skin, strawberry-blonde hair, freckles and smiling eyes...

you quite took my breath away.

... the bad

a brief note on escalator ettiquette.

the "keep left" signs are there for a reason. not everyone wants to wait an extra three minutes watching you get lovey-dovey with your other half - some of us simply want to get past.

functionally, escalators are there to move people up and down stairs faster than they would simply on foot. like a moving walkway, they are not there as a comfort accessory - they are not there for you to have a rest after your long, weary day sitting at a desk in an office or sitting in a train from [fill in the name of a station here] - they are there to get you from a to b without having to actually say "to".

if you must rest, read the above section on keeping left.

... the good

i went to black stump last weekend. i'll blog about that another time.

tonight i went to see the devil wears prada. yet again, i wish i'd held out and read the book first, because i think that it'll be hard to get the performances of the actors in this film out of my head for some time. (this is one of the reasons i haven't seen memoirs of a geisha yet, and that's already out on dvd!)

prada really was good. i laughed out loud in more than a few scenes, and while in some respects it was fairly cookie-cutter fare, in others it had some quite good stuff in it. the style of the film was very cool and while i (as anyone who knows me will attest) know nothing about fashion i thought that the calendar-flip-style sequence of andy sachs' fashion evolution was quite nifty. stanley tucci demonstrates once again how incredibly underutilised he is.

anne hathaway is an actress to watch, i feel. i get an intense audrey-hepburn-esque impression from her; she is very clean, even when her characters aren't taking the moral routes they should be. i am confident that she will be in the industry for a long, long time; not a bad thing (unlike, for example, gary busey or eric roberts) and i hope that she will lend hollywood some of the class it has lost since the heydays of actresses like lauren bacall, rita hayworth, bette davis, audrey hepburn, and katherine hepburn.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

... bungee idolatry

when i'm coming home at night i typically cross the street at the top of my street, turn into my street, walk past the two driveways before my own, then up my drive and footpath to my front door. before i get to the first driveway, i'm usually distracted by something shiny on the ground.

it's an old piece of tar or chewing gum or something similar, something that has been stuck to the footpath for some time, worn flat with the passage of time and pedestrians. it has a dull sheen to it which, glinting in the light from the shops behind me, makes it look like a dollar coin.

i know it's not a dollar coin. i know a dollar coin is hardly worth bending down to pick up (but a dollar's a dollar and enough of them makes you a millionaire, i suppose). i know it's just something stuck to the ground. but i check it anyway, because in my heart of hearts i hope it's a dollar.

and here's the awful truth people: i want something for nothing. i want free comfort. i want contentment without investment. i want things my way and i want them that way now and i don't want to have to wait.

now here's the amazing truth: i know that i'm wrong. it's a crock, a big crock of kobold droppings. because there is no comfort, there is no contentment - i can't have things my way and it's probably for the best.

idolatry is where people put something in the place of God in their lives. it's the thing that keeps you going, that makes you say when the rest of the world is crashing down around you, "well, at least i have that". here's a few:
* "i still have my health"
* "another $10,000 a year would be fine"
* "once the house is paid off it'll get better"
* "i've worked all year and i deserve a break"
* "it's wafer thin, monsieur!"

most of them don't sound so bad, i think, and in and of themselves i think some of them are just fine. some of them are actually good. (despite my low esteem of my own body, i think it's important to make some effort towards being healthy!) still, none of them are the best thing to have uppermost in our mind.

God is who we should have uppermost in our mind. consider:
* "so, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." [1 cor 10:31, esv]
* "and he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God..." [acts 17:26,27, esv]
* "the Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom i take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." [ps 18:2, esv]
* "when i look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" [ps 8:3,4, esv]
* "i say to the Lord, 'you are my Lord; i have no good apart from you.'" [ps 16:2, esv]
* "so i became great and surpassed all who were before me in jerusalem. also my wisdom remained with me. and whatever my eyes desired i did not keep from them. i kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. then i considered all that my hands had done and the toil i had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun." [eccl 2:9-11, esv]

worshipping God is what we are made for; it is its own blessing; all else is a chasing after the wind...

i was thinking this evening that repentance is much easier on the knees than on the heart, because bruises on the knees fade, but scars on the heart cut much deeper. we pray to God in repentance, asking his forgiveness for our inability to put him first in our minds, and thirty seconds later we're thinking while we're praying about which movie we're going to see tonight, or the aftershave of the man behind you that's slapping you about the nose, or the book in your bag you'd rather be reading than your Bible... and if we catch ourselves, we repent again and get back to the job at hand.

for me, i desire to live simply, to have a wife and family. i don't think we need to own a house and i don't think we need to have high-powered, high-paying careers. they might make some things in life easier or give us a greater feeling of security and they might enable us to give more to ministry work or missionary work. in and of themselves, they are good things. a friend of mine, though, has a saying: good is the enemy of best.

my idols are good, but God is best. i keep forgetting that, and i hope that i will continue to have people around me and God's Spirit within me to remind me of that.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

... what to say?

i've been a Christian now for about... oh, i'm practically coming up to my sixteenth rebirthday, about sixteen years now. i don't think i was a Christian before that, and if i had lost my life beforehand i imagine that i would have died "in the flower of my sins" (as the bard has it) and gone to hell.

some people i know would contest that; holding to a calvinist understanding of predestination as i do, it's somewhat of a contradiction in terms that i believe dying before my conversion would have ended with me in hell - surely if you're predestined to be converted you wouldn't possibly go to hell? i suppose my reasoning is that my predestination at that point wasn't to convert in time, but rather predestined for the judgement of God rather than for his efficacious salvation. now that i am converted from living death to eternal life, i know my place in heaven is assured; next question, please.

but what do i say to someone who doesn't think that? the text we looked at last thursday at Bible study (not last night, but thursday night last week) was on paul's second missionary journey and the events particularly in phillipi. the disciples meet lydia, they heal a slave girl of a demon, and they meet the philippian jailer, who like lydia is baptised along with his household.

i don't know if the general thinking is that the slave girl was likewise converted to Christianity but i don't think the text makes it a natural extrapolation from the narrative. it would be great if she did but i don't think it's a fait accompli that she did.

concurrent to this, i have just finished reading the New Testament, which i was reading every workday morning on the train leg of my journey to work. the revelation to john pulls no punches when it talks about who will be with God in the new heaven and who will not. john elsewhere talks about those who had seemed to be Christians but who left the church and in doing so proved that they never were Christians. did they know that the whole time? had they fooled themselves into thinking they were when they actually weren't? and what kind of God would let people think that?

these are questions that might be asked by one who has been a Christian for some time and now no longer knows why he believes what it might be expected that he believes; he questions if there really is a God at all; he hangs his future actions and happiness on the answer to a question it seems he has already decided for himself.

paul says to the corinthians that "if in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied" [1 cor 15:19, esv] but until we die we have no ultimate way of knowing if our hope has been directed correctly or not! the Christian says by faith that he knows he will be in heaven; he trusts the scriptures are true; he trusts that the Holy Spirit in his heart is interceding for him when he prays; he trusts that Jesus' blood shed on the cross makes him clean before God. the Christian trusts that God has done everything for him, then lives trusting that it is so.

i say, "the Christian does such-and-such", but that is the Christian when not torn by doubt, plagued by insecurity, overwhelmed by circumstance and emotion. "the ordinary Christian" does suffer from these; some feel them more acutely than others.

does this cancel out the efficacy of that in which we have believed? by no means! rather we have moved away from God, not trusting in that which he has provided for us.

so if we will not pray, if we will not read the Bible; if we will not be persuaded by our brothers and sisters; if we will not consider our hearts from other than our own perspective; if we will not believe God, what then remains?

for me, nothing remains. my faith is literally what keeps me alive. if i do not believe, then the last sixteen years i have lived are all for nought, and i should have done what i'd planned in that bath tub so long ago. i can see no sense in the world without God, no point to this "quintessence of dust" except to eat, drink and be merry. the writer of Ecclesiastes is equally bleak about a world without God; that his words remain long after he fell away does not undermine their power, but rather proves that God's truth outlasts all things.

don't get me wrong. i'm not saying i'm perfect, or that i am the Christian who actually manages to do such-and-such. i have done more wrong after i converted than ever i did before; and yet i know that my redeemer lives - i believe God, and trust that he credits that to me as righteousness. i struggle to show my faith by my deeds.

don't we all?

(... to be continued, i think...)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

... a few things

i realise with a few guilty feelings that it's been a little while since i blogged. to be honest, i haven't really felt pushed enough by my thinking on the things that have been happening in my life. Bible study last week was good, but didn't ... provoke the same push to consider things that earlier ones had. so i thought i'd put up a short (probably longer than i'm expecting here in the first paragraph, though) post about what's on my mind right now.

i'm feeling the imminence of my time in melbourne. next month i'll be down there for a couple of weeks, sussing out living and working arrangements, and hopefully having both sorted out before i move down in january next year. i've been keeping half an eye on the weather, half an ear on news... i'm looking forward to it with a growing anticipation that is beginning to reflect what so many feel to be the enormity of this "big step" of moving south. i have a league team (the storm) that i follow, and an afl team (essendon) i also follow, so my sporting interests are covered, although i'm told that the afl tribal boundaries of melbourne are beginning to dissolve, so i'm not too worried about living in st kilda territory and barracking for the bombers.

time is flying. i turn thirty-two this year, which isn't terribly amazing in and of itself, but moving has made me a bit of a calendar watcher, and i'm aware that the remaining weekends have been filling up rather quickly. i have sixteen saturdays left before i move in the second week in january; of those, i think i have activities that fill up the saturday on nine of those weekends.

i was thinking while i was sitting on the loo earlier that all buying and selling for profit is tantamount to gambling, so is insurance, and i wonder if i can perhaps grow a little respect for people who make their livings as professional gamblers.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

... cut to the quick (long post)

tonight we looked at hebrews 10-12. it's a little bit dry but it's still interesting, and it's encouraging as well... much as a stiff drink in the face of an unwelcome chore or bad-tasting medicine in the face of dire illness.

hebrews is widely regarded as a letter of encouragement to Christians, especially those facing opposition from the world without and backsliding fellow-believers from within. i was unsurprised to hear (joseph, called) barnabas being put forward as a possible author for the book and adding him to the list of other suggested authors, including paul, apollos, priscilla, and aquila. in these particular chapters, i feel the encouragement is slightly stick-and-carrot and it feels that way to me because of the particular people being encouraged in this section - those thinking of giving up on their faith.

in chapter ten the writer to the hebrews sets forth a strong argument supporting the new covenant in Jesus over the old covenant of law - he demonstrates Christ's superiority to the angels who delivered the law; Christ's deity; his sonship; his high-priesthood; his sacrifice being of immeasurably greater efficacy than the sacrifices offered by priests in accordance with the law. in every way, Jesus is presented as being in one man everything the law should have been and could not be. in chapter eleven he gives the "roll-call of faith", people in israel's history who looked forward to the salvation that God would put forth in Christ. in chapter twelve the writer deals with the hardships that the hebrews have already dealt with, those that may be to come, and why they should persevere in the face of such experiences.

i think what makes this passage a bitter pill to swallow is that it's not just as easy as holding up under persecution. if society rounds up all the Christians and says, "right, you lot - it's time for you to go to the wall - recant or die", history seems to show that lots of Christians tend to find enough faith to say something like, "for eighty-six years i have been his servant and he has done me no wrong. how can I blaspheme against my king and saviour?" (polycarp at his martyrdom, smyrna, a.d.155)

what i think could be harder to deal with is when family, when friends, when even oneself is faced with the possiblity is recanting one's faith in Christ. i am always torn because i know in my heart that the gospel is real and true. i always have, ever since i was a small child at sunday school or in scripture classes at school. i never once thought that the Bible was full of lies - although to be perfectly honest, there have been times when i have wished it was. i have more than a few times wished that i could be free to live like everyone else, uncaring of a life after this one, unworried of how the way i live my life now might impact the health and welfare of my soul after i die. in so many ways life would be so much easier!

the temptation to give up my faith is always there, as paul says, "so i find it to be a law that when i want to do right, evil lies close at hand." [romans 7:21, esv] however, i consider it a great blessing from God that i find that temptation too obvious, too easy, too false to even pursue the thought very far. i sin - heaven knows, i sin - but when i sin i pray to God for forgiveness, for strength to resist the temptation to sin again, and for faith to no longer dwell on past sins but focus instead on future opportunities to serve him.

but that is me. when i see people falling away, what can i say? what can i do? i can encourage them, "read your Bible! pray!" i can do the same. i can "be there" for them, spend time with them, hang out with them, pray for them, do my best not to be a burden to them, give them their space to work things out. what kills me is that i can't make them change their minds, and i can't know if God will or not. it's not that i don't know if he will or not - God will, or not, according to his will, and his day-to-day will is not something he advertises on billboards. his eternal will - that all people should hear the gospel and believe - has been sent out all over the world. no surprises there. how that is effected throughout the world? loads of surprises there.

i get thoroughly disheartened when i hear that someone has turned away from being a Christian, or has "fallen away". i think so little of myself and my mean little belief that when i discover someone else has let go of Christianity, i am rocked that someone might have less faith than me or that maybe i am wrong. "if in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." [1 corinthians 15:19, esv]

such a feeling lasts only a little while, because God soon reminds me that my faith (small) has a great object (God, eternal, infinite) which gives my faith an eternal and infinite impact. God isn't about, oh, that's your last chance, no more opportunities, you've really blown it this time! God is all about redemption, saving us from our sins, saving us from ourselves - saving us for himself. those people who have turned away from God can turn back. every breath they take is an opportunity to turn back to the one who paid for their lives with the blood of his very own son. (would you let your child go to the electric chair instead of jeffrey dalmer? would you put your baby in front of the car that hoon is driving down the street if it meant that that hoon would then be able to go to heaven, pimped-up ride and everything? - God did!)

so i pray for all those who have doubts, who are falling away. i hope they can feel that they're falling, that they become worried about it, that they seek help. i hope that when i feel like that, people will do the same for me. our God is a consuming fire, so he deserves reverence and respect - we shouldn't take him for granted, even if he does promise rest from this weary life. if you're falling away, don't give in. fight tooth and nail. if you once believed in the gospel, ask what has changed for you to stop believing in it - i guarantee the only thing that hasn't changed is the gospel. and it is no less trustworthy now than it was when you first believed - perhaps you've just become less trusting?

once you were sitting on balloons in a room full of pins, moving from one seat to the next, never quite knowing when you could relax. one day you sat on a milk-crate, and for the longest time you didn't have to worry about your seat disappearing from underneath you. all anyone in that room wants - at the end of the day, in one way or another - is rest, rest from work, from worry about the future, from trying to provide for every possibility. so now that you have that rest, why trade your seat for another balloon?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

... rain

it's late and it's raining. not very hard, at the moment, but the rhythm of the rain against the eaves, the windows, the path next door... it contrives to promise downpours and storms without any evidence to back the promise up.

i've been missing the rain. i like the rain. winter this year hasn't felt terribly wet, or at least it hasn't felt so to me. one of my favourite nights was about twelve and a half years ago. i was living in north wollongong, sharing a flat with a friend from school, and a quite heavy rainstorm hit about seven or eight o'clock one saturday night. tim was out somewhere and i had been at the computer trying hard to conquer dune in westwood's game "dune 2", a fantastic precursor to the revolutionary command & conquer. i smelled the rain coming before the storm broke, keeping one eye on the screen and one on the window in case i had to turn the computer off in anticipation of an electrical storm that might cause a blackout.

once it started raining there came no indication that it might ever stop. it felt primordial, ancient, as if every droplet of rain was a tyrannosaurus compared to a front-garden skink. i stood on the verandah for a few minutes, breatheing in the coppery air. it was invigorating.

i took off my watch and glasses, shoes and socks, put on beach sandals, put the house key in my pocket and wandered out the door. i went walking in the rain for an hour or two, i don't quite recall how long for. it felt very liberating to be ambling along in the rain, taking all the time in the world, while everyone else that i passed seemed to be very keen to get in out of the rain.

we seem so strange to everyone else, i think, wandering around in the rain when everyone else just wants to get out of it. while i'm wandering in rain, i'm rarely worrying that i'm in the rain. it can't rain all the time and a time is coming (and is not far off) when it won't rain - some of us will be enjoying a city without sun or stars and a river running through it.

thunder's coming.

Monday, September 04, 2006

... grace

i'm typing this in editpad lite because typing it into the blogger page using opera can have some nasty typo side effects if you're not careful about what you're doing. i like using opera for its keyboard shortcuts and handy mouse-gesture shortcuts, but occasionally it bites if you scotch a bunch of stuff you just spent five minutes typing for what should have been a really quick post.

i was going to put up a follow-up post to my one on acts 15 but my opinions on the passage have not changed and i remain convinced that the application regarding table-fellowship is a natural outworking of the passage but not the main thrust of the passage itself.

i am going to say a few words about grace. ironic perhaps, given the vehemence of my previous paragraph, but heartfelt nonetheless.

i love that God loves me, that he sent Jesus to be punished for my rebellion against God and my inability to live up to God's righteous requirements for entry into his heavenly kingdom. i love that there's nothing anyone, not even i myself, can do to separate me from that love that God has shown in his work of salvation in Christ. i love that when i pray, my weak and distracted thoughts and words are transformed by the Holy Spirit's power and intercession into prayer that glorifies God and shows my life in submission to his will. i love that everything that makes me Christian is entirely an act of God and none of mine. it's very comforting.

relient k, in their song be my escape says, "the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair", and that's the truth because what we mere humans forget is that the definition of fair is not ours - it's God's. we say, "that's not fair!", because we feel it's not fair to us. it's like a dog barking to its owner that it's not fair that it's getting meaty-bites again!. it's not up to the dog what it eats - that's up to its master. we don't like to think of God being our master because to us, to our teensy-weensy pea-sized brains, it's not fair. do small children always know what's good for them? how do they learn? what's the best way? in the face of eternity, surely it's hubris to think that we know better than God what's good for us.

the thing i love most about the grace of God afforded those who after receiving it call themselves Christians is this: all you have to do is repent and believe the gospel. that's it. admit that you don't do things God's way, accept that Jesus' death is punishment for your sins laid on the one God chose to punish, trust that Jesus' resurrection is the preview of your own resurrection, and welcome the Holy Spirit into your heart and be changed by him.

that's it. you don't have to follow rules to become a Christian. you don't have to make some huge sacrifice. you don't have to sell your house. you don't have to quit smoking. you don't have to quit drugs. you don't have to leave your boyfriend and go back to your wife and family. you don't have to do any of these things to become a Christian. the offer is made to anyone with ears to hear and mouth to say "yes".

what you do after you become a Christian will reflect your understanding of what God has done and what he says his ideals are for your life. sometimes that means change, sometimes not. sometimes what you didn't have to change when you first became a Christian will become something that has to change as you mature in your faith. that happens in any relationship - some things you do with friends are only appropriate after years of friendship, some things you outgrow.

all the things i do that are wrong; all the things that are right that i don't do; all these things i repent of, now and for as often as you require of me, o God. search me, o God, and know my heart, test me and find all my evil, then lead me in ways that will be everlasting and i'll serve you, my God.

Friday, August 25, 2006

... an interesting study (long post)

tonight we looked at acts 15:1-35. on the face of it, i suppose, that might not seem terribly exciting stuff - a disagreement on what does or doesn't make someone a Christian, an example of how the early church worked through the issue, and how the two disagreeing parties were to be reconciled afterwards. (in fact, just typing that brings a fresh light to my thinking on this as well - evolution in opinion on reflection! stay tuned...)

in brief, luke records that men had come down from judea to (syrian) antioch teaching that unless believers were circumcised according to the law of moses they could not be saved; that this led to much debate in the blended church in antioch and that a delegation, led by barnabas and paul, should go to jerusalem to discuss the matter; that the aopstles and elders met over the matter of mosaic lawkeeping for the new gentile Christians; that peter recounts God's work in the matter of cornelius, and paul and barnabas tell about the signs and wonders done among the gentile believers; that james refers to scripture (amos 9) regarding the inclusion of gentiles into israel; that the jerusalem council sends a letter advising the believers in antioch on the matter, and which is a joyful encouragement and strength for those who received it.

in our study, one question (after addressing verses 1-5 and 6-12) turned a simple reflection on decision-making into a lively debate on the deeper issue of the passage: "the issue appears to be the acceptance of gentiles. in fact the issue is far deeper. the very nature of what it means to be a Christian is under dispute". do you agree with this statement? the discussion came to a point after verses 13-21 through another question: what does james suggest as being the appropriate course of action? why?

on the surface, the judgement is rendered in verses 19-21:

"Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues." [acts 15:19-21, esv]

"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath." [acts 15:19-21, niv]

does this mean that gentile Christians are saved by grace and not required to obey the jewish law... except for these four rules? if four, why not three? or five? why not one, or even eight hundred-odd? peter says that the yoke of lawkeeping was too much for the jewish fathers to bear, so why lay it on the gentiles? and if this is so, does this then mean the council was deciding how light a yoke was kosher, so to speak?

why then these rules? the line taken by many in our study (and, it seems, many commentaries) is that these rules are about table fellowship - allowing the gentile Christians and jewish Christians sufficient common ground to be able to eat together without offending one another. jewish law was pretty strict about what was and wasn't okay to eat and gentiles might very well have eaten anything they pleased, provided it wasn't sacred to whatever god they happened to worship i suppose.

why then is that not spelled out in the letter that luke quotes for us in verses 23-29? (from... to... since... therefore... so, four rules... cheers!) why is there no exhortation to peace within the church in antioch? and i can't really see paul sitting comfortably for this: is this a get-out-of-getting-over-kosher-food free card from the jerusalem council for jewish Christians? when he writes to the romans about causing brothers to stumble, is paul talking about people eating food of questionable provenance (food sacrificed to idols) or of questionable ritual cleanness (not unclean according to moses)?

i do not see a question of table fellowship here at all, except in the working out of the liberty i see gentiles being afforded here. the rules they are given seem to me to have more to do with the way of life that many pagans would have had in the first century. temple prostitution and eating meat sacrificed in pagan temples were common practice; these rules would have set that way of life firmly in the "former way of life" category. paul's letter to the galatians is a clear exploration of exactly these issues: liberty from law permitting love that leads to peace.

what i see james saying here is to turn away from their old way of life (meat, blood, sexual immorality - temple cult) and not to worry about chasing after the jewish way of life (moses has been preached...). their old way of life was an empty worship of idols, and the jewish way of life was based not on grace but on works that were impossible to live up to. if this new liberty is to be taken seriously then table fellowship will be the natural consequence: jewish Christians will be freed from the food laws required in the law of moses; gentile Christians, saved by God's grace apart from law, will be gracious to those coming out from under it.

by returning at every point to the first principles of salvation - grace apart from works for jew and gentile alike - and the golden rule for a relationship with God - love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength - and with others - love your neighbour as yourself - surely a peaceful table must be the natural outworking! the council's words, "if you keep yourselves from these you will do well" ("these" being strangled and sacrificed meat, blood, sexual immorality) are very nearly the understatement of the first century!

i can see how a "table fellowship" understanding is borne from this passage now but i'm not convinced that was its primary purpose. the question prompting paul and barnabas' journey to jerusalem - did gentile Christians need to be circumcised to enjoy salvation? - was not a table fellowship question, but an earnest search to understand the nature of God's offer of salvation to the gentiles.

i'm still turning this over in my mind, but would love feedback, comment and discussion!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

... not one... but two!

two aussie movies!

lately it's been my dvd viewing that's been rather adventurous, hardly renting a film i've already seen. tonight i went to go see two new aussie movies - kenny and 2:37.

both fantastic, and more about each later, perhaps. for now, my gut reactions:

kenny was great; light-hearted and warm, it is without a doubt the next castle. the lead actor brings such a genuine warmth to the role, and eve von bibra (formerly of the chantoozies and a supporting role in the big steal) is a great surprise and i hope to see her in other movies. the story is great, and the toilet convention in nashville is awesome. amazingly light.

2:37, in stark contrast, was incredibly dark. the soundtrack, the washed-out, late summer colours, both perfectly reflect the harsh realities of the students' lives as depicted in this film. american high-school filmic reflections have a lot to learn from this australian outing, which has echoes of pump up the volume and the kind of bold approach to its material that we don't see in enough films these days. every parent in australia should see this film and promptly make an oath to spend another two hours a day hanging out with their kids - every day.

go see them both. kenny is rated M (mainly for swearing, i think); 2:37 is rated R and deservedly - strong themes and graphic visuals.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

... (not quite) fully si(c)k

i hate being sick. i like to eat, but i really hate being sick.

i'm so utterly uninterested in being sick, it's probably impossible to plumb the depths of my dissatisfaction with the state of being sick. if a book was written to explain how little interest i have in being sick, it would be the literal neverending story.

my despite of being sick is probably bad enough, but when i theorise about the specifics of my sickness, diagnosing the symptoms, speculating on the internals of how my sickness is presenting... and then hear my doctor say the same things... well, i get a little bit despondant.

i thought, "well, there's no petichiae(?) that i can see, so it's probably not bubonic plague..."

boil going bad? pilenital sinus? ingrowing hair? infected sweat gland? something serious to do with a lymph node? (that last one would actually give me the heebie-jeebies a little bit...)

whatever it is, i have some kind of lump growing under my armpit. came up in only a day or so. i didn't do anything about it right away because sometimes these things just appear and vanish in equally speedy measure. two mornings after it first presented, however, i thought i'd better see the quack, if for no other reason than i'd like to be able to use my arm painlessly again. i feel like my underarm hair has become entangled and is being unknotted with every movement of my arm.

i'm on some drugs now, and hopefully they'll get the swelling down, and whatever is causing this will right itself.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

... the good with the bad

i enjoy eating.

i should be ashamed of it sometimes but most of the time i'm not at all ashamed of how much i enjoy eating. "food for the stomach and the stomach for food" - i know it's not how God wants us to look at the world and i recognise in certain moments how right he is... and at other times how wrong i am to sometimes believe it.

once upon a time, not so long ago, i was invited to lovely! pancakes. it always is in my mind lovely! pancakes even if that's not what it's called these days. pancakes at the rocks or some equally unimaginative name, i'm sure. lovely! pancakes used to have an old-fashioned newspaper-photo-in-lines (daguerrotype?) picture of an oliver twistian-woman with a knife and fork and steaming pancakes all cramped together in a very small logo. i remember seeing the same woman being used to advertise a production of oliver! around wollongong, i think.

i like eating pancakes, so i replied in the definite affirmative. we all met up (eventually) and sat down to a late brunch. i rather liked the look (in the menu illustration) of the sausages and hash browns, so i decided to go with that. with an extra sausage and hash brown because, tempting as it was, the photo in the menu was looked a tad spartan.

i was hoping for hash browns that looked as pancake-like as the photo implied. i was hoping for delicious sausages, although who goes around ordering sausages that they hope taste like sawdust i have no idea. i was neither hoping for nor expecting what i received - hash browns that looked like deep-fried julienned potatoes that were burned at the edges and raw in the centre, and sausages that looked like i had cooked them on a bbq (implication: i burn everything i put onto a bbq. except maybe water. maybe.)

obviously i was rather unimpressed with my lovely! pancakes brunch experience and while i'm happy to try their pancakes on future occasions i might suggest that they narrow their menu to what they can cook palatably. i was less unimpressed at not being able to get into the lovely! pancakes at north rocks for half an hour - i took it as a sign that lovely! pancakes was not to have my business for a while. such is life.

two of the same friends and i went on a road trip today, although i was told by an acquaintance that driving from sydney's north shore to wollongong hardly counted as a road trip. to that, while i understand where they're coming from in making the comment, i reply that my definition of a road trip is not merely a factor of distance travelled, nor is it a matter of destination per se, but rather that wherever we're going and however far it is, travelling with friends in the car is an integral part of the activity. if i were to go to wollongong on the train (as i am wont to do) it would be a day trip.

the gastronomic feature of the day was a stop at piato in the gateway on the mall (or whatever they call it now) for lunch. very nice food. a tad pricey if you're a cheapskate like me, but well worth the cash. i has a fantastic pumpkin risotto but better than that was the fetta mashed potato! mashed so smooth they were almost creamed, the fetta adding a delicious salty/smooth texture to already delicious smooth potato. worth another visit, i feel, and i must do my best to remember to order at least a side of the fetta mash.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

... and i was so ready to have a good day

i had planned to write a blog about how glad i was that God has blessed me in being able to read my Bible every work day for the last two and a half weeks. i just finished reading the gospel of john this morning and i'm ready to start ploughing through acts tomorrow, but it goes to show the insidiousness of the sinful nature that i now am ready to walk out of work and go home.

every workplace has tensions, people get on one another's nerves - it just happens. i don't question why it happens, i merely accept that it does. if anything, i question why it continues to happen when the Christians involved (at least) have a measure of understanding about what is happening (and why) and some spiritual recourse to alleviating the problem. one workplace i was in was in some ways extremely unpleasant to work in because it was full of Christians who didn't get along. it pains my heart and makes me just want to remove myself from the space i'm in, not least because i have my own outbursts too.

my plans to move to melbourne continue apace - i feel confident i will find work with little trouble, i expect to have a place to move into well before i arrive in january, and i think the hardest thing will be finding a new church. moments like this, however, tempt me to just hand in my notice and take the next train south, and it browns me right off that i feel that way. i don't think it's justified - i know that it's pride and selfishness, the sinful nature continuing to work out its consequences in my life. it gives me the irrits and i can't wait for Jesus to return simply so i never have to worry about it again - the sinful nature again, wanting God to salve my will and conscience, not simply and ultimately to reveal his glory.

so whoever you are, reading this, please pray for me, and for all Christians in workplaces, especially if they work mainly with Christians. pray for us to exhibit the marks of faith to one another that should be marking us to everyone as us having the Holy Spirit. faithfulness, gentleness, peace, patience, kindness, joy, goodness, self-control - love in all its outward forms driven by its inward abundance in our hearts by the grace of God.

and thank God that my Bible reading continues well. it's an interesting side-blessing of living so far away from work that God has provided me with ample travelling time for my quiet times!

Friday, July 28, 2006

... i am a tool

i forget important stuff all the time and have a brain filled with the stupidest trivia ever. the Bible says that if your eye offends you, pluck it out; if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; i sometimes think i need a lobotomy.

dorfl the golem, in terry pratchett's novel feet of clay, says, "either all days are holy or none are". i think of paul every day, with every abba song, with every doug anothony all-stars moment, with every chorus of the time warp, with every thought about going to the gym or playing squash.

so (belated) virtual hugs from me too, if you would like some.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

... in the morning

i've been really tired. why that is, i'm not sure - i don't think i'm doing any more or less than i ever have before, and at 31 years of age i hate to start playing the "i'm not as young as i used to be" card. i'm up early, i plan for a snooze. i don't go to bed much later than i ever have before, but this week, i'm doing something i haven't done in a long time - i'm planning to be in bed by 9:30 each night. (except tuesaday night and thursday night - i have commitments with Bible study those nights!)

so i went to bed about 7:30 last night, and at about 8:30 (i think) my mother called with my health fund information for me to be able to do my income tax return. when i answered my mobile, i was shaking so hard it was almost like i was having an epileptic fit! i thought, "wow! it's really cold..." my housemate alex thinks i was in the grip of a fever.

i don't think i've ever had a fever before, not like this. i've never shaken so hard before from shivering, and while i don't mind shivering (it can feel good if you're in the wrong frame of mind, i guess...), this was rather more... energetic than i've ever felt before. not something i'm terribly keen to experience again.

it has made me think, though, that perhaps i treat my body with a little more contempt than it deserves. i've never had a terribly high self-image, for a combination of a bucketload of reasons, and one way of dealing with this has been to hold my flesh pretty much in contempt. i know that come the resurrection i'll get a new body, one that's perfect, one that won't be subject to the whimsy and decay of the sinful nature this side of glory. knowing that means that (in my sinful way) i think less of my body than i should.

i have a book by josh mcdowell called his image my image, which i grabbed in a moment of introspection some time back. i think, now that i have some time factored into my daily travel schedule for directed reading (as opposed to entirely recreational reading), i'll pick it up again and have a read. maybe walk up to where i get the bus to the city from, instead of getting another bus to that one. start taking a bit better care of myself.

crikey... it almost sounds like i'm beginning to be concerned about my health.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

... harvesting

i was reading my Bible this morning, trying to ingrain a (good) habit of making the train ride from the city to work my Bible-reading time, and hit upon the passage in matthew about the workers harvesting in the vineyard. the boss of the vineyard hires some guys at 6am and comes to a workplace enterprise agreement (is that what they're called?) with them for a denarius for the day's work. he gets some more guys around 9am, then noon, then 3pm, then finally at 5pm! all done, he starts paying them from the most recently-hired (the 5pm guys) and gives them a denarius, and when he gets back to the 6am-starters they get only a denarius too. disappointment all round for those guys, who seemed to be expecting raises.

the point of the passage is that the pay is up to the master of the vineyard, not the workers. it would have been understandable that jews who kept the torah should be upset that Jesus starts saying people need to repent and get right with God and thus be on even footing with "the righteous". imagine how they'd have felt knowing that serial killers and rapists and murderers - gentiles, the lot of them! - would be getting into heaven too!

it reiterates to me just how little i see the world from God's point of view and persist in using my own frame of reference. idiot that i am.

... journalling

to whom it may concern ;)

i'm not going to post my journal until 22 july, owing to the delay in receipt of it at the last exchange. hopefully, it also allows time to return home, or send me an appropriate address to send it to.

cheers :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

... spicks and specks


if anyone i know ever hears me do what adam richard just did on spicks and specks (abc television, wednesday nights at 8.30), please shoot me.

Friday, June 23, 2006

... discussion

had a somewhat lively Bible study on John 3:36 this evening, with a consideration (among other things) of the question, "what does it mean to have 'eternal life'?"

there are a number of pat answers one can give without really getting to the nuts and bolts of our own personal understanding of what eternal life means. "a full relationship with God"... "no more tears, no more pain"... "being the person God meant for me to be"... "to live forever and never die"... are all examples of the kinds of answers i've heard over the years, with first leaning towadrs a more thoughtful understanding of eternal life, and the last leaning towards a more basic (and slightly flawed, perhaps, unless Jesus comes back in our lifetimes) understanding of it.

my own understanding of "eternal" is less a quantitive one and more a qualitative one, i hope. certainly, the eternal encompasses an infinity of temporal space, in which one could imagine replaying the whole of human history and seeing every event in minute detail, treating time as a river one could get out and wander up- and downstream of. i think, though, that my own ability to grasp the concept of the true nature of the eternal is inherently flawed and incapable of the most basic grasp of it. i remember a quote from somewhere, "if the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we'd be so simple we couldn't." i think it's a good quote because it underlines our limited view of the world around us. all that i could possibly ask or imagine in this life will barely fit into a fob pocket in my jeans in heaven (assuming we still wear jeans in heaven!) and the concept that everything could all be rolled up in such a way for us is laughable.

God is an energetic, creative God - if he had been content in himself to be simply eternal and self-relating, he need never have created us at all. it is because he loves us and desires that we be in relationship with him that he deigned to breathe life into the dust of the ground and call it "made in our image". God is love - and with that powerful, revealing-himself-as-father love comes an anger when his children do the wrong thing that is equally awesome, or awful. my parents were angry when i did the wrong thing because they love me and wanted me to do the right thing, and how much more than my parents does God love me!

my understanding of eternal life is that it is a restored relationship with God - to pray and be heard, to see his hand in the world around us, to find his character in my brothers and sisters, to see his image in the faces of strangers, to have his Spirit in my heart - it is not a restoring of our pre-fall status per se, i think, but a moving-on from that. adam had God's breath in his nostrils, but i have the Holy Spirit inside me; similar but different. God met with adam in the cool of the day, walked in the garden with him, but God is always and ever with me now and i am always and ever now with him: God has a place for me in his house, he has called me a son, and what he speaks is.

i do not enjoy the fullness of this restored relationship yet, because i still am in the world. sin continues to exact its toll in my life, reduced though it is according to God's grace, but what i suggested in Bible study tonight was this:

eternal life is a little like having a backstage pass at a concert. it's great to be at a concert or performance. everyone's there to have a great time, enjoy the show. some people have queued up for ages, some people had their tix as gifts, or won them in some competition. some are in the mosh pit, some are in the nosebleeds. everyone is there, enjoying themselves, the show, the company, and most are not thinking about what will happen after the show. they revel in the moment because, were they even able to admit it, the moment is all they have.

for those who have backstage passes, however, the concert is an amazing precursor to the freedom and privilege of going backstage. meeting the band! seeing the techies! maybe even jamming with the band! getting autographs! for these people, the concert is not the main event. for these people, the concert's end is not a reason to feel down, to go out and take your time getting to the car, knowing that a eighty thousand others are all going to be clamouring to get out before you. for these people, the end of the concert is the moment when they can go backstage! where others' experience ends after the last encore fades, their experience is only beginning.

in the gospel, i think God is offering us backstage passes (in a way). we don't have just the moment to live in, we have all those moments after these. and we should treasure the gospel. you don't go to the concert and leave them at home! you can't get in unless you've got them front and centre, where the door guys can see your credentials. and what's even better is that we get to give these backstage passes away ourselves! to anybody!

warren commented tonight he'd heard someone say that Christians are beggars who have been given bread - and tell other beggars where to get more. i know that i rarely share the gospel with people and i know that it is even more rare for me to sit down and truly dwell on the awesome nature of our God and King, and the power of the gospel to save. i don't live the way i should, not fully enough, not loudly enough, i think. my pass is in my pocket, in my bag, not around my neck. and the more i think about it, the more i think i'm losing out by being so reticent about it all. i'm terrified that my failures will make the gospel look bad, when in fact they can only make it look even more amazing - if it works for me (and look how much more screwed up i seem compared to how you think you are) it must work for you too!

can't half tell it's after midnight, eh?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

... one for each day of the week...

some books that i've been reading lately:
  • the fruits of war - michael white
  • aphrodite - isobel allende
  • loves me, loves me not - laura a. smit
  • charlie and the chocolate factory - roald dahl
  • romanitas - sophia mcdougall
  • poems and prose - gerard manley hopkins
  • the cracking codebook - simon singh
... and, of course, the Holy Bible (nasb, for the time being)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

... 101 reasons

well, i killed off my other blog. i think if i couldn't keep updating one blog, there's not really any way i can in all good conscience (even with something as trite as my "101 uses for...") try to run two at the same time.

from time to time i might use it as a header here, but i'm still toying with my "stupid seven" concept.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

... stupid seven

seven things that should happen to stupid people who...
...pee on seats in male public toilets

  1. be made to wear a dress for a month
  2. given electro-shock treatment
  3. be made to clean toilets with cotton buds
  4. be disallowed use of toilet paper and issued with pumpkin vine leaves
  5. be disallowed use of a toilet seat... for all time
  6. be made to use a colostomy bag
  7. physical castration and removal of penis

does this seem harsh?

Friday, May 19, 2006

... relativity

i have a soft spot in my heart for shlocky films. one of my favourite movies is deep blue sea and the reason it's one of my favourites is one single scene. samuel l. jackson's character is holding forth on how bad people can get when the chips are down, and how backbiting, infighting and the blame game hinders you from actually doing somethign to resolve the dilemma you face. (vague, i know, but if you haven't seen it you may want to.) then he takes control of the decision making and promptly gets eaten by a shark that jumps out of the wet-entry dive pool at the bottom fo the underwater research station the film is set in. (one can only be so vague when making a point...)

i love that scene. there is another scene i like for its definition of relativity. l.l. cool j. has a line where he says something like, "put your hand on a hot pan and a second can seem like an hour... put your hands on a hot woman and an hour can seem like a second".

last night we were looking at acts 2:42-47, considering how the early church, immediately after pentecost and full of the joy of the Spirit and the gospel and their newly-found salvation, had everything in common, sold what they had and gave to others as they had need.

now i'm sure people haven't felt that life has got any less busy. many of our grandparents might say we've got it easy, while a few more cynical ones might say they wouldn't trade places with us for all the tea in china! what i do think has changed is the kind of society we're living in. first-century jerusalem had very different welfare systems in place than we have today. they were called "children", for the most part, and people often had a lot of them to build up their support network for their autumn years, when they could no longer work with their hands to provide for themselves but weren't yet ready to give up the ghost. nowadays we have "superannuation" and "retirement" and "pension". these support the individual who has been paying into them for however many working years, or as a recognition of the contribution they've made to society (although pensions seem to be becoming fewer and less supportive as time goes by).

i really feel that this drive towards providing for ourselves has left us bereft of a lot of the beneficial side-effects (the undocumented features, if you will) of a family-based or village-based, namely that in a society where everyone looks after everyone else everyone is (ideally) cared for somehow. children are watched because everyone has children and they're the future of the family/village and so it's in the family/village's best interests to look after them, and if you're around when they need looking after, that's what you do. when i was growing up, we hung out next door until my parents came home from work or tafe or wherever they were, and our neighbours' kids hung out at our place for the same reason.

i don't know how much of this looking out for one another happens around childcare centres or schools anymore. mums used to congregate at the gates, walking bunches of kids home and dropping them off one after another at the houses until they arrived at their own houses. does that still happen? how many kids go straight to after-school care? or tutoring (which a cynical person could call clayton's after-school care)?

if you know me, you know where i think this leads. two parents both working to pay off a mortgage to live in a house with kids they're disconnected from and spend more time watching tv with than talking to.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

... "like a child with new clothes..."

doing a bit of surfing while ate lunch, i wandered into the matthew reilly website, and remembering the old web address for hover car racer, i thought i'd check it out. WOW! hover car racer ii is coming soon! i hope it's sooner rather than later.

i've been noticing the marching passage of time seems a little faster now than it used to be (stemming from a conversation in the shop i had with a customer this morning), and i realised that my move to melbourne is much sooner on the horizon that it was when i first thought about it. i head down for a holiday later this year (fingers crossed, my tax refund will be as helpful as it was last year!) and to scope out a few places i've been chatting about with people, maybe for work, maybe to live. one place i was interested in for work is in frankston, but one of the most promising places to live is heidelberg! they're about 90-120 minutes apart, and while i don't mind travelling, that might be a bit much. it's further than i travel now...

so i don't know. i'm looking forward to wandering about the place and pretending to be a working joe for a while. there was a great card and paper shop i happened on when i was there a couple of weekends ago, and i might stick my head in there and see if there might be any work opportunities. it's in the city, i'm familiar with some of their stock already, and i worked in a newsagency for a while... i've dealt with greeting cards before.

a few thoughts...

... keeping up appearances

i actually have a fair amount to blog, but no time to actually write it up and upload it. there is stuff coming, but it may take a little longer.

in lighter news, one of the ladies at my fave morning cafe in the city took my money for my breakfast and the one dollar coin slid out of her hand, bounced perfectly off the stainless steel countertop and into a jug! couldn't have done it if we'd rehearsed it, i don't think...

Friday, April 28, 2006

... busy

my weekends fill up so quickly sometimes, i half-wonder when my time suddenly became so much in demand. i'm off to wollongong this weekend for an annual pool tournament that i haven't actually been able to make for a while. i'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

... introspection

have you ever felt like everything you do is letting someone down, somewhere?

anyone who knows me will tell you about me that i have a great memory for some things and a crap memory for others. i'm good with movie stars in movies (six degrees of kevin bacon is a fave of mine) and hopeless with dates. on your birthday, i will wake up with a vague sense of unease, thinking there's something i should be doing today, a phone call i should be making, someone i need to be talking to.

i felt like that a couple of weeks ago, contacted someone to work out what i was forgetting, and upset someone in the doing of that. all because my memory is crap and i am a tool who doesn't organise life more effectively around myself. i know my memory is crap. i did have an external memory i was using, but it turned out to be crap as well and got fried. all data lost. and i am a tool once again.

something else that happened to me recently is that i was asked how i became a Christian. it's a long story, and the more often i tell it, the less i think of myself. i don't know why that is. i am certainly amazed every day that God has brought me into a relationship with him and, while i continue every day to make stupid mistakes & errors of judgement and in more ways than i care to think of let him down, he continues to save me from myself and shows me that i am not my own - i am his, and nothing i or anyone else can do will ever change that.

i'm not particularly keen on having my book read out at the last day - is anyone? - but one page will read something like, "september 1990, repented and prayed for forgiveness, entered the Kingdom of God, got out of the bath and dried off and got dressed. eventually stopped crying." that is the day God saved me from myself. every day since he has been keeping me from trying to take control back and metaphorically smearing the walls of his new temple with my own crap.

i commented at the end of my testimony that it never really leaves you, the option of suicide. it's like learning all of a sudden about control-alt-delete. "oh my goodness, my computer isn't doing what i want it to do, maybe i should just hit ctrl-alt-del and start over...?" except it isn't. the problem is that without having someone operate on my brain, i don't see how i can unlearn it. i've asked God to help me unlearn a lot of stuff, but never that. i suppose, in a way, it's my escape clause in our little covenant - that if the going gets too hot, i might pull the plug. every time i've sat down to seriously consider it since that day in 1990, i've stayed my hand because of God's love for me. perhaps, then, the button still looks like it's there, but God's pulled out the wiring underneath.

he has surrounded me with friends and family - blood and spiritual - who continue to be an encouragement and reminder to me that God's love, and the poor copy we share, is so much more than the things we struggle against in our lives. i let people down, and surely the only thing that enables them to forgive me (if/when they do) is the love that God has put in their hearts.

thank you, God, for that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

... anti-update

this is less of an update and more of an explanation of what's been happening.

we had a virus scare at work, which is why i haven't been updating as regularly as i had been before i stopped updating so regularly... does that make sense? (i was updating my blog at work during my lunch break.)

i haven't been updating at home because by the time i was getting home i really couldn't put two sentences together that were terribly coherent. our broadband access here at home that i have after long not having regular internet access at home (by choice) have now recently enjoyed is soon to be temporarily cut off as part of a name-change on the broadband bill.

so who knows when my next update will be? if you have my mobile number, telephone me and say hi! 7-8.45am, or 7-11pm AEST is an excellent time to get me on my mobile.

peace ya dead budgies! eh-eh :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

... happy birthday to you!

i know it's been a while since i posted, but i've been a bit away from the 'net lately, plus i've not been checking things out at work at lunch... a virus scare at work. in any case, today's a very important day.

my baby sister turned 30 years old today.

happy birthday Allison! i love you very much and i'm very proud of you.

Friday, March 31, 2006

... all my friends are (still)...

tonight marks another sombre occasion in my life - one of the people i led for a time in youth group is getting married. i'm overwhelmed with joy for the couple in question, and i have nothing but hope and prayer for a joyful and fruitful life together, filled with peace, and forgiveness, and reconciliation. as an early thirtysomething who's been feeling ready to settle down for about 25 years, it's hard not to feel a bit left on the shelf - but that's self pity and i haven't got time to really dwell on it these days. i note its passage, and hopefully that's all.

so it's an evening wedding on a weeknight, even though it's not a school night, and i think that's kind of funky. you can make a good start tomorrow after a nice lie-in, people leaving the reception/supper after the service can roll on to wherever they like, and it's a bit of a standout in that when was the last wedding you went to... on a weekday... at night? very nifty.

you should have seen the invitations! how awesome were they? i've been telling customers about them, although i'm going to have to bring it in to work just so's they can get a clue of what i'm talking about.

i'm sure tonight will go well, and i hope and pray that tonight is as bad as their life together gets - that it's only onwards and upwards from here. God bless you two crazy kids!